Jhulan Goswami is an all-round cricketing star and a former India national women’s cricket team captain. She is widely considered as the best fast bowler at the moment. From playing with boys to featuring in the World Cup final, the Chakdaha Express, as she is popularly known, has come a long way. She is a true inspiration for all the young athletes who want to be successful fast bowlers.
|Full Name||Jhulan Nishit Goswami|
|Nick Name||Babul; Jhulan Express; Chakdaha Express|
|Bowling||Right-arm medium fast|
|Hometown||Chakdaha, West Bengal|
|Height||5ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|International Wickets (ODI,Test ,T20)||290 (200,40,50)|
|Major Teams Featured For||Asia Women XI, Bengal Women,East Zone Women, India Green Women, India Women|
Jhulan Nishit Goswami is an all-round cricketing star and a former India national women’s cricket team captain. Unlike other girls of her age, she would voraciously watch sports on television. Jhulan preferred football in particular. Then in 1992, she watched India participate in the cricket World Cup. That was when her tryst with cricket began.
Fighting against all odds
Jhulan hails from a middle-class family in Chakdaha, a small town in Nadia district of West Bengal. She always had an inclination of playing cricket. Since young girls hardly played cricket, she started playing tennis-ball cricket with the boys.
Steadily her love for the game grew and soon she realised the need to pursue a career in cricket. She then decided to take her cricket education a step further. As her hometown lacked elementary cricket facilities back then, she would travel to Kolkata to train better.
In that time, a girl traveling alone by train every day to play cricket was the most unusual thing you would ever hear. But not for Jhulan. Only in her teens, the youngster would travel for three days in a week to Kolkata. She would catch the 5 am train from Chakdaha to Sealdah in Kolkata. From then, she would then reach for the cricket practice by 7.30am through bus. After completion of her practice by 9.30, it was another two-hour sojourn back to her hometown where she would have to report to school. This exhausting four-hour trek on a packed train would seem to be burdensome. But for an indomitable Goswami, it was essential to toughen her up mentally, as she later revealed.
Soon, a 19-year-old Goswami made it to the Bengal women’s team.
In no time, an Indian call-up followed. She made her India debut, in the ODI against England in Chennai. There was looking
Always an elemental part of the team, Jhulan is remembered for both her batting and bowling capabilities. Being good at both the trades, she was an invaluable player for the team as a result. In fact, Jhulan has an average of less than 20 in Test bowling.
She has twice taken 5+ wickets in an innings in cricketing her career. Her 5 for 16 in Silchar in 2005 sunk England to 50 all out.
As the Indian women’s team rarely play Test matches, Goswami has managed to compete in only ten Tests over a 16-years of illustrious career.
The England Tour
The zenith of her Test performance came against England at Taunton in 2006, where she took five wickets in each innings and finished with match figures of 10 for 78 to help India to a famous series victory. For the Indian team, that was a first test series win against England, in England.
That year was marked by another highlight when she won the ICC Women’s Player of the Year 2007.
She has also won the M.A. Chidambaram trophy for Best Women Cricketer in 2011. Jhulan was also first in ICC Women’s ODI bowling rankings in January 2016. Later in 2017, she surpassed a 10-year-old record of the highest ODI wickets taken (180 wickets) held by Australian fast bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick.
Amongst her glaring records, the most notable came in 2018, when she became the first Women’s ODI cricketer to have 200 wickets to her name. She achieved this feat in February against a formidable South African side. It was the later’s opener, Laura Wolvaardt, whom she dismissed for the 200th wicket.
2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, England
Later in 2017, she guided Indian team to the finals of the Women’s ODI World Cup final, before going down in final against hosts England.
In that, she took 3 wickets for only 23 runs in 10 overs to limit the host’s total to 228/7. However, England went on to narrowly win the trophy by 9 runs.
Acknowledging her achievements, the government issued an Indian postage stamp in her name. In August 2018, she announced her retirement from WT20Is.
Despite her towering frame and a height of almost 6 feet, she is known for her athleticism and pace. In fact, she uses her unusual height to her advantage, generating bouncers. She is also known for her pace and is widely regarded as the fastest active bowler – an incredible feat, especially considering that she is an all-rounder. Fastest ball of Jhulan Goswami is argued by many to be either 125 km/h to 130 km/h.
She has an exceptional accuracy as well, especially while bowling in long spells. In 2011, she scalped 6 wickets for 31 against New Zealand in Southgate (England), although India failed to win that particular game.
Jhulan Nishit Goswami was born on 25 November 1982 to Nishit Goswami and Jharna Goswami in Chakdana. Her parents, Nishit and Jharna wanted her to focus on her studies, rather than playing a ‘male’ sports of cricket. She also has a younger brother named Kunal.
As of 2018, Jhulan Goswami is unmarried. In an interview in 2017, Goswami expressed that she was focused on her game and she ” can’t devote time to a relationship as I won’t be able to do justice to it.”
In March 2018, BCCI announced a pay hike for both senior men’s and senior women’s cricket teams. Jhulan Goswami, being a Grade A athlete, thus earns ₹ 50 lakh per annum. Earlier, the salary for Grade A players prior to it was a paltry ₹ 15 lakh.
Even after the enormous hike, the pay is way lower than the ₹ 7 crore that men’s Grade A cricket players like Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni bag.
Runner-up 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup
Castrol Awards, Mumbai
ICC Women Cricketer of the Year, 2007
Arjuna Award, 2010
Padma Shri, 2012